Letter: Don’t overreact to fluoride study

Putting element in water supply has been a boon to public health.

By Helen Hawkey
Executive director, PA Coalition for Oral Health


The PA Coalition for Oral Health wishes to address some of the concerns raised by “Fluoridated water linked to low IQs” (Reading Eagle, Aug. 20). PCOH, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association, continues to support community water fluoridation, or CWF, as the most effective public health measure to prevent cavities.

Since its introduction 74 years ago, adjusting the natural levels of fluoride to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended level has greatly improved the oral health of tens of millions of Americans.

Studies show that CWF prevents at least 25% of cavities in children and adults. Some may think that cavities are no big deal. In reality, children and adults in Pennsylvania and across the country are suffering from pain, infection, poor appearance, speech problems and learning problems due to cavities and tooth loss.

We have a crisis in this country, with one in four children suffering from tooth pain. It is the most common childhood disease, more common than obesity, asthma or diabetes.

Public health professionals have good reasons for continuing to support adjusting natural fluoride in water in the wake of this study that claims to link fluoride intake among pregnant women and child IQ.

Readers interested in the details of the study’s shortcomings are encouraged to contact PCOH at info@paoralhealth.org.

Helen Hawkey
Executive director, PA Coalition for Oral Health

*Original letter online at https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/letter-dont-overreact-to-fluoride-study